Compassionate man with wicked humour, say Mario's friends, fans

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 11, 2011 10:48 hrs

New Delhi: Friends, associates and members of the art fraternity remember eminent cartoonist Mario Miranda as a 'warm, wickedly humorous and compassionate man who reacted positively to the world around him'.

The 85-year-old Miranda, who drew Goa for the world and drew the world for readers in India, died in his sleep at his home in Goa Sunday. He had been ailing for the last few years.

Photographer, curator, designer and culture activist Ram Rahman said he knew 'Mario very well'.

'I had met him several times in Goa and Mumbai. Mario was a warm human being with a wicked sense of humour. He was an incredibly talented artist,' Rahman told IANS.

'Mario's cartooning represented the Goan culture - and made it not just national, but also international. I have some lovely pictures of Mario and Charles Correa in Goa. The evenings we spent together were very funny,' he added.

Art curator, critic and author Ina Puri recalls Mario as a 'caring and compassionate human being'.

'He was one of the finest in his field. Mario was a legend who was aware of art and images - with not just the repertoire of a painter, but a creative being,' Puri told IANS.

Noted curator Sushma Bahl, author of the new book '5000 Years of Indian Art', found his 'cartoons simple, communicative and acceptable'.

'His response to the society and things around him every topical. He was a friendly, warm and decent artist who belonged to the old world,' Bahl told IANS.

The curator remembered a 'series of works which he had executed around the festival of India in the 1980s'.

'Air India put the cartoons together and took them around,' she added.

Writer and columnist Gyan Prakash, the author of 'Mumbai Fables', remembered Miranda's cartoons in the Illustrated Weekly - immortalised 'stereotypical images such as the buxom Anglo-Indian secretary Miss Fonseca, actress Rajni Numbupani and the Catholic girl Petrification Pereira'.

Filmmaker Shyam Benegal said he had shot a whole film in Mario Miranda's home in Goa.

Leading contempoarary artist Shuvaprasanna met Mario Miranda for the first time at a group show in Mumbai 1969 where Miranda and the artist from Bengal exhibited together.

'During my one man show at Jahangir Art Gallery in 1971, I invited him. I met him personally and said I was one of his fans. He came to my show and sat for a long time. He was a clam and bright man - with beautiful manners and few words,' Shuvaprasanna told IANS from Kolkata.

In the early 1970s, Miranda has a very small studio-cum-office at the Illustrated Weekly (and also at the Times of India) in Mumbai. We were familiar with his illustrations and cartoons since childhood. While on a visit to New York, the Span magazine published a special issue on Mario Miranda- 'New York through the eyes of Mario Miranda',' the artist reminscised.

When Khushwant Singh edited The Illustrated Weekly, his coloumns were accompnaied by Miranda's fun illustrations, the artist said. 'It made for beautiful reading... Miranda used transparent colours in his cartoons,' he said.

Others in Bollywood too remembered the artist.

Musician Ehsaan Noorani wrote: 'RIP Son of Goa and cartoonist Mario Miranda... always loved your work always will...icons are being recalled by the universe.'

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